The Final Girls

The Final Girls is a 2015 American slasher comedy film, directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller. The film stars Taissa Farmiga and Malin Åkerman, with supporting performances from Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Chloe Bridges, and Angela Trimbur. It an homage to 80s style slasher flicks and camp horror but especially Friday the 13th and Jason Vorheese.

Amanda Cartright is a struggling actress who got typecast because of her role in an 80s slasher flick called Camp Bloodbath. As it is cult classic, even several years later she is unable to get better roles and after yet another audition where the producers know her from the horror flick, she complains about her career to her teenage daughter Max. As the two sing in the car, Max accidentally drops her drink onto Amanda’s portfolio and headshots and this distracts her and they have an accident. Amanda dies but Max survives. Three years later, her best friend Gertie’s step-brother Duncan, who is a horror film fan asks Max to show up at a double bill showing of Camp Bloodbath and its sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer.

Despite it being Amanda’s death anniversary Max reluctantly agrees and goes to the theatre with her Chris, who she is interested in and Gertie. Chris’s ex-girlfriend Vickie is also there as is Duncan. During the movie there is an accidental fire which causes panic. Using a machete that was there as a prop, Max cuts through the screen and her group all step through. They find themselves waking up in broad daylight and in the woods. A van pulls over and they realize that the Every 92 minutes, they encounter a van with two characters from Camp Bloodbath, and realize they have somehow been transported inside the movie. The group awkwardly pass themselves off as new camp counselors, and hitch a ride to camp and Amanda’s character Nancy wakes up from sleep in the back of the van which shocks Max.

Realizing that they must let the film run it’s course, they let the first couple of murders happen without interference, but when Duncan is killed by the film’s machete-wielding villain Billy Murphy, they realize that they too run the risk of becoming victims. The group decides to stop the cast from having sex, as whenever someone does so in Camp Bloodbath, they fall prey to Billy’s machete. Chris distracts Kurt, while Max persuades Nancy to stay a virgin. Vicki sticks with Paula, the movie’s final girl and Gertie bonds with Blake, a counselor. When Gertie brings up the topic of Billy Murphy, the counselors are alerted to the fact that the “urban legend” of Billy is “real” and will come to kill them. In a panic, the counselors try to flee the camp. Kurt and Paula drive off, but when Duncan emerges still alive, the car hits him then crashes into a totem pole, resulting in their deaths.

Now aware that the characters who originally survived the movie can die, Max and the others decide to save anyone they can. They dress Tina in a life jacket and mittens, to prevent her from undressing. They also decide that Max, the only remaining virgin, is the new final girl, and plot to get Billy’s machete into her hands so she can kill him and end the film. Meanwhile, Max and Nancy bond, and theorize that, if Nancy survives the movie, she can go back home with Max and be whomever she wants. The group booby trap the cabin, then Tina lures Billy to them by performing a striptease. Tina panics and is killed when a trip wire sends her headfirst into a bear trap. Blake, Vicki and Gertie are killed fighting Billy. Chris, Nancy, and Max flee the cabin, and Billy chases after them. Chris is stabbed, and Billy kidnaps Nancy. Max finds her at Billy’s barn hideout, and the two women fight him, which results in Max getting stabbed, before they both escape.

After the two retreat to the chapel, Max tells Nancy that her real life counterpart is Max’s mother. They bid each other a tearful farewell before Nancy sacrifices herself by luring Billy with a striptease. Max collapses, but, now the final girl, she awakens with the power to kill Billy. They fight and she eventually decapitates him with his own machete. A wounded Chris arrives and the two kiss, while Camp Bloodbath‘s closing credits play in the sky. Later, Max wakes to find herself in the hospital, where she is reunited with her friends. The group hears Billy Murphy’s approach tune, and realize they are in the sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer. Billy crashes through the glass doors of the hospital as the title appears. Using a drip stand as a weapon, Max lunges at Billy, before the film abruptly ends.

Funny, campy and as well as heart-felt homage to slasher films of the 80s, the film resonated with horror enthusiasts as well as comedy fans. I give this a 7.5 outta 10!

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